Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Balenciaga

Posted on July 17, 2012

Is it blasphemy to say that we’re not really all that excited for The Dark Knight Rises? No one loves a good superhero movie more than Tom, who has taught Lorenzo the Way of the Nerd to the point that even he eagerly awaits the latest Spandex-fest. But as much as we love Christopher Nolan as a director, his Bat-films tend to be bombastic in the extreme and way overblown. Sure, Batman’s nuts, but at his heart, he’s a fun character; a very basic form of wish fulfillment. You get almost none of that in the Nolan films, except for the occasional “Chicks dig the car” line. The rest is melodrama and explosions, and after a while, we wind up getting numb to it. The fact that this latest installment is well over two-and-a-half hours long doesn’t fill us with confidence. Sure, it’ll probably be considered a masterpiece and we’re sure we’ll enjoy it on some level, but we’re not exactly camping out for tickets to the midnight showing.

But we’ll happily critique the outfits at the premiere.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in NYC in a Balenciaga suit.

Balenciaga Spring 2013 Collection

Disappointing. If you had said the words “Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a Balenciaga suit,” we would have started coming up with superlatives before we’d even seen the pictures. It just sounds like a no-brainer to us; an easy win. JGL can work a suave look and Balenciaga can turn them out. So why does he look like a middle manager in an ill-fitting suit? The jacket’s mostly okay, although it appears to be slightly snug in the shoulders and upper arms. He looks like he can’t raise his arms in this thing at all and his shirt is bunching up under the jacket. In addition, the pants look tight across the thighs but loose and a bit too long below the knees, which is the easiest way in the world to make a skinny man look a little chunky. If this had been correctly fitted to his body, it’d be pretty close to a WERQ, but unfortunately, JGL missed the mark.


[Photo Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images,]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • DinaSews

    Does anyone know what the red button is on his lapel?  He wore it yesterday also.

    • khossyouguys

       I’m about 99% sure it’s in reference to his web site hitRECord, whose symbol is a red circle:

    • It’s from his hitRECord business.

      • Pants_are_a_must

        God forbid he doesn’t wear one of those stupid buttons ONCE.

      • DinaSews

        Thank you.

  • MilaXX

    Also the tie is crooked &  upsetting my OCD

    • Lisa

      Oh, yeah, that tie is waaaay off.  Plus, the jacket’s too tight, and you can see where the pants are pulling across the thighs.

    • formerlyAnon

       I can live with the tie being crooked, but the knot is All Wrong in relationship to the collar. Really? 12 year old boys are taught to tie a tie properly, and he’s wearing a Balenciaga suit with *that*?

      • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

        Hell, I could tie a tie better than that, and I’m a middle aged woman~!  🙂

        • I taught a collection of third grade Cub Scouts how to tie a tie properly, and they all looked better at the end of the den meeting than JG-L.

  • Mod_girl

    A little tight, but I still think JGL looks pretty good. That runway model, however, scares the CRAP outta me. He looks like he’s coming to get me!!! 

    • Lol!  I thought the same thing!  He looks almost like one of Alex’s henchmen from A Clockwork Orange.

      • Omigod, yes!!!

      • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

        Yeah, he is scary and not in a good way.

    • AmeliaEve

      Yeah, but his pants are the right length.

  • ChiliP

    I obviously do not understand tailoring- I think he looks great. Look at the effort he put into this look compared with most of his male counterparts.  Jacket does look a bit snug though.

    And, boys- I’ll gladly take your midnight spots at The Dark Knight Rises. This nerd is beyond excited.

    • DeborahJozayt

      I had a toddler-esque temper tantrum when my husband said we’re going to the Saturday morning showing instead of the Midnight showing. Our local theatre is even having a 3am showing after the midnight showing Friday, and I would have been willing to go to that! 

      I do know that I won’t be able to eat or drink before going to this movie, because I almost always have to go to the bathroom midway and I just refuse to do that with this movie. Glad someone else is super excited, too!

  • ianrewel

    Yes it is blasphemy. Batman was seldom a fun character (besides in the campy 60’s era); he’s a tortured man trying to do some good and re-channel his darkness. I love love love love love love love love love (I actually wrote all those loves) the Nolan films. Also, JGL looks hot as hell, as always. Anywho, keep up the great work guys, can’t wait to buy ur book. 

    • Batman was almost always a fun character. For the majority of his publishing history he was written for children. Sure, he’s always had dark roots based on vengeance, but he’s a standard adventurer character, complete with boy sidekick. The “tortured man” characterization is only one part of a much larger whole.

      • It’s pretty clear Nolan’s taking his inspiration from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which is also rather lacking in fun (though so are most of Nolan’s movies, so he was not going to add any no matter what). I’d hate it if all superhero movies were like this (thank you, The Avengers!), but I do love these movies.

      • ianrewel

        Yeah, guess I was raised more on the Alan Moore/Frank Miller issues. also, cant believe u guys answered to my comment, fuck yeah

        •  Always up for some nerdchat.

          • I agree with TLo, overblown is the least of the critiques I’d aim at Dark Knight. But I liked Begins and I have hope for Rises, mostly do to the presence of Catwoman. She made Batman Returns the best of the films ever, maybe she can do it again?

          • I agree with TLo, overblown is the least of the critiques I’d aim at Dark Knight. But I liked Begins and I have hope for Rises, mostly do to the presence of Catwoman. She made Batman Returns the best of the films ever, maybe she can do it again?

      • He can be both, just not at the same time. I like him campier, too.

      • He can be both, just not at the same time. I like him campier, too.

    • Rand Ortega

      As a geek who knows some Batman history & 2 of the artists who have been influential in Batman lore, I have to say you’re both right. Until Frank Miller reimagined the character w/ “The Dark Knight Returns” in 1986, the character  started as a hardened, pulp inspired character that softened in the mid 40’s w/ the introduction of Robin & an edict that forbade the character to kill or use a gun. That continued through the 50’s & 60’s particularly w/ the popularity of the TV series until 1969 when Neil Adams started to move away from the campiness & return Batman to his pulp roots. This culminated w/ the Miller interpretation.

      • tereliz

        That’s just what I was about to say! And of course, Robin’s character has had a huge impact on Batman’s personality changes over the years, of course. As a huge classic Detective Comics fan, I think the new movies capture the original spirit of the comic, but I do have some minor canon issues that I will not bring up here. 😉 Definitely an improvement over the last franchise(s?).

      • It was Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams who turned the campy ’60s “Batman” back into “THE Batman” in 1969. Miller was almost 17 years later. The vast majority of Batman comics thru the entire ’70s and half of the ’80s were standard superhero comics in the “city avenger” mode, with virtually no “darkness” (as we use the term now) evident. Sure, he was “dark” in the silver age sense of the term, which meant he occasionally wept over his parents’ graves, but he was never really depicted as “tortured” the way it became standard post-Miller. Smilin’ Batman, swingin’ thru Gotham was still a standard image of the character right up to the ’80s. I know because that was the Batman I grew up on, starting in 1972. -T.

        • Rand Ortega

           Not trying to split hairs w/ you, T, but the inker on the O’Neil/Adams issues,  Dick Giordano, is often quoted as saying their version was a “grimmer, darker Batman, and I think that’s why these stories did so
          well”.  I honestly don’t remember Batman “smilin’ all that much during that time. I’ll have to go into my stash & look through my issues from that time (yep, still have a few of ’em) to be sure. Back in the ’80’s, I hung out w/ Neal, Frank, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mark Beachum et al & they talked a lot about their battles w/ the editors on the depth of tone of the characters in their charge (Neal in particular, which is why he left DC & created his own label, Continuity & the Comics Creators Guild).

          • I don’t think you are splitting hairs with me because you’re not really disagreeing with me. Yes, O’Neil/Adams brought the character back to its darker roots, but he was nowhere near the damaged, tortured soul Miller turned him into. Remember: The SuperFriends debuted AFTER the O’Neil/Adams Batman, and that show had almost as much of an influence on his portrayal in the comics thru the ’70s.

          • Rand Ortega

             So True!

            (Totally why I love this blog!)

  • andcoh

    Yay!  Someone who feels the same way about these films as I do!  I just normally have to keep my mouth shut and smile away.

    • Celandine1

      I like the first film a lot. I hated the second film and hated, hated, hated Heath Ledger’s Joker.

  • It doesn’t appear he can move easily in the jacket, but it’s a good just-standing sort of suit. It looks good in the pictures. Thank goodness his pants are properly hemmed, too.

  • Jacket: too thought through chest and shoulders.
    Pants: too tight across hips and thighs,
    Tie: askew, and needs the knot drawn up a tiny bit.
    Otherwise, he looks great.

    • gabbilevy

      That askew tie sends me down a mental road of one hell of a fantasy. It looks like a hurried attempt to re-tie it in the back of a limo… with me.

      • Well go ON with your bad self! Viva la Fantasia!

    • He’s turning out to be super handsome.  But maybe it’s just the contrast with the model — I just hate to be catty, but dang!  That is one seriously not hot male model.

  • Nyltiak

    I think JGL looks good, but since the menfolk tend to not be so good with red carpet attire, I could be grading on a curve.

    I couldn’t sit through the whole of the first Nolan Batman, I watched the second in a couple chunks on HBO, and I have little desire to spend $10.50 on a ticket to this one. Maybe I’ll catch it on HBO. And I love me a superhero flick. These just do nothing for me.  

    • gabbilevy

      I wish my ticket was only costing me $10.50. 

      • Nyltiak

        Movie ticket prices are stupid expensive these days. And I refuse to buy into that 3d bullshit unless it’s an animated film. Just an excuse to charge more.  And don’t get me started on concession prices… I may or may not bring popcorn and a drink in my purse, just like my grandmother always did.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          One of my nephews used to work for a multiplex and he by and large felt that 3d was a waste, and he was particularly critical of how muddy the films were in 3d.

          • Nyltiak

            That’s why I will only do animated movies in 3d. Live action tends to look crappy in 3d (I think critics said Wrath of the Titans was so bad that watching it in 3d without the glasses was clearer than with). And it’s like 4 to 5 dollars more!

    • I agree about grading on a curve. It’s a gorgeous suit even if the fit is weird.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      I caught the first Nolan Batman on a flight to South Africa, and liked it enough to rent it and watch it when we came home, and begged for the DVD for Christmas.  The second film didn’t do much for me, so I”m up in the air about going to see this one….maybe if I wait two weeks and catch a bargain show….

  • antheapena

    that’s a downer so early in the morning. Can we have a little stone/garfield to cheer up?

  • jendet

    TLo, please post about your thoughts on the new Spider-Man. So curious…

  • WHAT?  I love.  He looks super sharp!

  • TropiCarla

    JGL is really coming into his own – he was super cute on Fallon last night. As for the Batman movie, I’ll probably be seeing it this weekend with hubby and fam, but I’m more excited about Looper. JGL and Bruce Willis as the same guy in a sci-fi action flick? Yes, please.

    • formerlyAnon

       Yes about his Fallon appearance. I rarely find the guy shilling the latest action blockbuster remotely interesting, let alone likable, but he was engaging enough that I turned away from the work on the computer screen to give the show my full attention for a few minutes.

  • Alisa Rivera

    Get ready for the backlash. Rotten Tomatoes had to disable their comments on TDKR because someone posted a negative review and got death threats. I’m hearing the movie isn’t actually all that great, but it’ll be interesting to see how many critics have the balls to actually put that opinion in print.

    • filmcricket

      I was just going to say. “Gosh, TLo, it’s been nice knowing you!”

      Frankly, I’m thrilled to know there are others who share my opinion on these flicks. Not having grown up with Batman, I thought Nolan’s first was unbearable and the 2nd saved only by Ledger. I cannot take the whole “dark” thing seriously when it’s a guy in a bat-suit. That, to me, is calling out for camp.

  • BazoDee

    Me thinks he bulked up for the movie but they sent over a suit for his pre-bulk bod. All the places it is too tight would have been fine pre movie. 

  • formerlyAnon

    I could overlook the jacket if the pants legs weren’t so obviously too tight in the thighs. (and he’s not THAT muscular).

    I do very much like the tie, somehow.

  • The model is a wee bit… Gollum-ish, no?  How exactly did he qualify to walk the 
    Balenciaga runway?

    Agreed on the assessment of JGL.  Back to the dressing room darling!  

  • Larkin21

    After reading the critique, I can see that the suit is a little tight but mostly, I think he looks awesome.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Oh my god, the model for the suit looks like an alien.

  • I will say, he is the classic case of child actor growing into hot man.  I gave up on Batman long ago….no one did it quite like Michael Keaton…

  • pookiesmom

    Huh. I think he looks dreamy, but what do I know? Also, I have a huge fangirl crush on him, so maybe that’s blinding me to the tailoring?

  • JGL is such a handsome man, it’s too bad they had to pull him straight away from work at the office to come to this premiere. He looks great but I agree he could look even better in a different suit.

    Oh and love the Batman Forever quote — my friends and I use that whenever we see a ridiculously expensive car around NYC. That movie isn’t such a great Batman film but it’s a trip. Love the costumes, set design and color filters used.

  • Puckndc

    Not to mention…buck up pal, and cinch that tie…these guys do this a lot..

  • kikisayshi

    I think he looks darling here. But I still think of him as Tommy from Third Rock from the Sun. It usually takes me a while to remember that he’s a real grown-up now.

    • alyce1213

      I remember him as a little boy (well, maybe 10-11) in Dark Shadows. He was adorable.

      • kikisayshi

         I just watched that last night and didn’t even notice! Although I was playing on Twitter at the same time…

    • Don’t forget Angels in the Outfield!  I always think of him as a little boy too, even though I’m not THAT much older than him.

      • kikisayshi

         Neither am I, but sometimes the young ones just stick in your head as forever 12. 🙂

  • DinaSews

    Thank you.

  • Aurumgirl

    Add me to the list of people who believe this suit wasn’t tailored to fit his newly enhanced physique.  Now that he’s become bulkier, the suit is stressed in all the places he’s bigger than he was.  It’s causing noticeable fit problems everywhere–even in places like the cuff, which looks just slightly too short.  Plus, the colour and fabric are too “office boy” for JGL.  

  • Catiline

    I always find the supporting characters in Nolan’s Batman series more interesting than the title character himself.  Commissioner Gordon, Ra’s al-Ghul, Harvey Dent, the Joker, Scarecrow and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s take on Rachel Dawes are the people who really breathe life into the films if you ask me.

    • Maybe because they’re playing more than Bale’s one note? He just always seems like an angry kid to me, no matter the role. Oldman, however, is better as Commissioner Gordon than he was in that dull spy movie he got raves for.

    • Maybe because they’re playing more than Bale’s one note? He just always seems like an angry kid to me, no matter the role. Oldman, however, is better as Commissioner Gordon than he was in that dull spy movie he got raves for.

  • janetjb

    I’ve had my hopes dashed by an ill fitting suit.

  • ccm800

    I love the little Satan spawn model coming for your soul!

  • sagecreek

    He does look kind of like he wants to sell me insurance. I dunno, maybe it’s the color?

  • scrappy1

    Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is on my irrational celebrity hate list.

  • Pee. Wee. Herman.

    • kimmeister

      BWAHAHAHAHA!  You’re so right!

    • Catiline

      OMG.  What has been seen cannot be unseen.

  • lynn

    Does anyone but me see a young Roy Rogers when you look at this actor?

  • alyce1213

    The suit doesn’t fit, the tie is poorly tied, but all I can see is that model, who clearly stole the Director’s suit and is escaping from the zombie asylum.  Are they serious?

  • tereliz

    It’s funny… if a guy “makes the effort”, I (usually) think he looks great. Under scrutiny, I could say that JGL’s tie is driving me nuts and the pants don’t fit, but he’s got such an adorable face I just don’t care. 

    Now, show me a photo of a woman in a satin gown that costs more than my used Prius, and I’ll call her out on limo wrinkles. And also wearing satin. And wearing the wrong lipstick. And shoes. And hair… 😉

    But I do appreciate all that I’ve learned about men’s suiting from TLo. 

  • AmeliaEve

     Cool, I also noticed it yesterday.

  • meowing

    Haven’t yet read all the Bitter Kittens responses, but looks to me about 2 clicks above Pee Wee Herman.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    The Balenciaga model is scaring me.

  • guest2visits

    It’s just the tiniest bit too tight. And I want to change the tie out for something else; but I don’t know what.
    The suit’s almost a little too plain and boring for him. He can definitely carry a more interesting or intense look.
    The shoes look great though and so is his posture. I was going to say ‘carriage’, but that makes him sound like a horse.

  • JasmineAM

    I agree about Nolan’s films. They’re decent, but way too dramatic. I love Batman, and for God sakes, it’s a superhero movie. Nolan’s Batman is super emo and Bale’s voice as Batman made me what to stop watching. He takes Batman way too seriously.

  • Meh.
    Tom Hardy was rawr last night.
    Compared to him JGL looks like a child…

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    Not crazy about the tie or the fit of the pants, but I would like to stand and applaud a clean shaven face!  On a runway!  Thank you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

  • margaret meyers

    This aggressive tailoring is not everyon’es best friend.  Robert Downey is keeping his figure beautifully, but there comes a point when you are just not youthful enough for this kind of tailoring.  I think this is making JGL look kinda douchy.

  • Blasphemy?  Not at all.  I refused to watch the first one when it came out and only ever saw it after having seen the second, which was awesome.  Batman Begins is all sorts of “ugh” to me and I just can’t handle Christian Bale as Batman.  That stupid voice, lord.  And then of course there is the terrible casting in the female roles which is not improved with this movie.  I’ve already gone all psycho on this blog about my aversion to Anne Hathaway being Selina Kyle so I’ll hold my tongue there, but when you have Mask of the Phantasm, you don’t need to care about this hollywood shit.  Unless it’s to rip on the clothes.  At least we have the clothes, and honestly, JGL always appears showered so I’m not all that bothered by the fact that he looks a little bit like a moldy sausage.

    But I can’t wait to see how the die-hard community reacts to this.  I’m expecting a blood bath.  Ok, I’m HOPING for a blood bath.  Is that so wrong?

  • bellafigura1

    We’re in Pee Wee Herman territory.  Too. Small. And. Twee.

  • he’s a good looking man.
    i can deal with a suit that’s a little snug.
    he’s going to age beautifully!

  • TieDye64

    He’s so damn cute, so it’s a shame that fantastic suit doesn’t fit better. If this were tailored to fit properly it’d be killer oh him. 

    And I’m with you guys. Not looking forward to the latest Batman installment at all, this coming from a serious nerd girl. C.Nolan has sort of ruined it for me.